From the age of 10, Jenny Alphin has spent her life around horses. After gathering grand-champion trophies as a junior competitor, she went on to earn a degree in therapeutic recreation, combining her expert horsemanship with her talent for working with children. As head instructor at Hoofbeats Riding School, she imbues each of her one-on-one lessons with this lifetime of expertise, tailoring her directives to the student’s particular needs and interests.
To build confident, well-rounded riders, she starts youngsters out with the basics, rather than jumping right to galloping through mountain creeks in full John Wayne costume. Riders must first learn how to handle, lead, and care for their horse before getting into the saddle, which helps facilitate a healthy relationship between horse and rider. They also start off riding bareback so they can use their body language to communicate with the horse directly, without the aid of saddles, reins, or bridle-mounted walkie-talkies.